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Star Wars: Shatterpoint – Everything We Know So Far

Star Wars: Shatterpoint is an upcoming tabletop skirmish game from Atomic Mass Games, based on the Star Wars universe.

In this article, we walk you through everything we know so far about the Star Wars: Shatterpoint rules and releases and tell you all you need to know in order to get ready for the game’s release in June.

When the game releases, this article will also be the home of our ongoing coverage of the game, so check back often!

Feature image for the Star Wars: Shatterpoint article

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What is Star Wars: Shatterpoint?

So, why should you care about Star Wars: Shatterpoint’s upcoming release?

In this section, we’ll try to explain why the game is worth keeping an eye on from two perspectives:

1. I’m a Star Wars fan – why is Shatterpoint a game for me?

If you’re a fan of the Star Wars universe in general, that’s already a good enough reason to get involved with Star Wars: Shatterpoint. The game is all about bringing epic lightsaber duels and tense bounty hunter shootouts to life on the tabletop with beatifully sculpted, paintable miniatures that really capture the flavour of the Star Wars universe.

The game isn’t the first Star Wars miniature game at all – Atomic Mass Games already publishes the army scale wargame Star Wars: Legion and the two space battle games Star Wars: X-Wing and Star Wars: Armada – but the relatively large scale of the miniatures in Shatterpoint and the game’s focus on creating cinematic moments for your characters makes it perfect for imagining you’re controlling the most famous characters of your favorite setting.

If you’re particularly a fan of the animated Star Wars series such as Clone Wars or Star Wars: Rebels, however, we can recommend Shatterpoint even more: The initial release packs for the game are headlined by fan-favorite characters such as Ahsoka and the not-at-all-dead Darth Maul (sorry for the spoilers, prequel fans!), and the more long term release schedule shows that Atomic Mass Games is committed to bringing all sorts of central and peripheral animated characters to life, to the point of the game’s miniature design even having a bit of a cartoony feel.

The game also features releases from the original trilogy, such as Leia, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, but it does have a unique focus on the animated side of the Star Wars Universe.

If you’re a Star Wars fan who’s never tried a skirmish game before, don’t be afraid to dive in! Shatterpoint might seem a little complex at first, but as miniature games go, it’s one of the most approachable ones out there with rules that are written with players in mind and easy access to those rules.

2. I like skirmish games – why is Shatterpoint a game for me?

Miniature skirmish game’s are having a real moment these days, with Games Workshop focusing heavily on them with Kill Team and Warcry, and many other systems such as Infinity and Frostgrave still going strong, but one of the real breakout successes of recent years has been Marvel Crisis Protocol. Marvel Crisis Protocol is a very modern skirmish game with rules that are well-balanced, easy to use – and completely free to download and access.

This accessibility and transparency combines with a fantastic setting, the Marvel Comics superhero universe, and a breakneck pace of releases of gorgeous miniatures that come from all corners of the setting, into a game that’s won over even many players who wouldn’t normally see themselves as Marvel nerds.

But wait – why are we talking about Marvel Crisis Protocol when this was supposed to be about Shatterpoint? Well, Star Wars: Shatterpoint is being made by the very same team that gave us Marvel Crisis Protocol, and so far, it looks like it’ll feature the same level of accessibility combined with a serious deep dive into its setting that everyone loved about Marvel Crisis Protocol.

If you’re a skirmish gamer who also really loves the hobby side of things with assembling and painting your miniatures, even better: Shatterpoint has relatively large miniatures and only around 3-5 miniatures in most squads for the game, so there’s room and time for you to put lots of energy into painting the best looking miniatures you can!

Of course, we don’t yet know how the game will be received when it actually hits tabletops in June 2023, but everything we’ve seen thus far indicates that it might be just as succesful as Marvel Crisis Protocol.

What do I need in order to play Shatterpoint?

If you want to get into Star Wars: Shatterpoint at launch, the first two items to get are:

  1. The Core Rules. The Core Rules are a “living ruleset”, which means that it’s a downloadable PDF that the designers can balance and adjust on the fly. If you’re used to Kill Team or other book-based skirmish games, this will probably sound like a relief, and it is – in fact, you can already download the full Core Rules for Star Wars: Shatterpoint now, and for free! The rules are available for download from Atomic Mass Games’ website here.
  2. The Shatterpoint Core Set. This starter set for the game will be available on June 2, 2023, and it contains everything you need to play the game (and then some):
    • Miniatures for 4(!) squads, 16 miniatures in total, including Ahsoka, Anakin, Darth Maul, Asajj Ventress, and more.
    • Scenery
    • The special dice required to play the game
    • The special measurement tools required to play the game
    • Mission, Struggle and Unit Cards

If you want a really immersive experience, you’ll also want to buy some sort of game mat that gives your scenery and miniatures something looking like actual ground to stand on, rather than just your dining room table, but it’s entirely optional.

Many other teams and terrain expansions are to be released as well (which you can see in the “upcoming releases” section below), but what’s mentioned above will give you the full experience at a very reasonable price, and buying all the dice, scenery and measuring tools separately is pretty pricey.

When does Star Wars: Shatterpoint release?

According to the Asmodee webstore, the Star Wars: Shatterpoint Core Set will release on June 2, 2023, and the Core Rules are already out on the Atomic Mass Games website. The release dates for later releases can be found in the last section of this article.

The Rules of Star Wars: Shatterpoint

Important Note: While the full ruleset is already out, we’ll hold off our full review of the game’s rules until we’ve actually had our hands on the game itself and have a few games under our belts. The following section is just intended to give you an idea of how the game works and if it would appeal to you, not a comprehensive understanding of everything in the game. When the full game releases, we’ll update this space with our full rules review.

Goal of the game

Like many other modern skirmish games, Star Wars: Shatterpoint is much more about completing objectives than just killing off your opponent’s models. To this end, the goal of Shatterpoint is to complete a series of shifting and randomized objectives called Struggles over the course of the game in order to get a higher score than your opponent. Combat is still a huge part of the game, but Atomic Mass Games consistently promotes the game as being more about objectives than killing stuff.

Squads in Star Wars: Shatterpoint

When you play a game of Star Wars: Shatterpoint, you bring a Strike Team, which is a roster of two Squads. Each Squad is made up of the following:

  • a Primary Unit – this is the leader of your squad, such as Anakin Skywalker or General Grievous.
  • a Secondary Unit – this is a supporting character for your squad, such as Kraken or Commander Cody.
  • a Supporting Unit unlike the other two, Supporting Units usually aren’t named characters, and a Supporting Unit can consist of multiple models.

The Primary Unit has a set number of Squad Points, and the other two types of units have Points Costs, so that if your Primary unit has 8 Squad Points, the total Points Cost of your Secondary and Supporting Units can’t exceed 8. All the units in your squad have to be from the same era – Clone Wars for the Anakin days or Galactic Civil War for Darth Vader era, basically – but apart from that, those are all the restrictions there are on squad building at launch.

This is a squad building system that is both streamlined and full of depth: All the squad boxes you can buy for the game (see the last section of this article) contain full squads of Primary/Secondary/Supporting Units that match a theme in the narrative of their era, and if you want to play a squad that feels like something from the films or tv shows, that’s definitely the way to go. However, if you’re more interested in making the most of the game’s rules when playing competitively, you can absolutely collect all the teams and figure out what the optimal squad for your playstyle is by mixing and matching units from different sets for the best chance of winning.

When playing a game, you select which of your two squads you want to play as.

Unit Rules

Each unit in the game has two cards that explain what it can do in the game: The Unit Stat Card and the Stance Card. In this section, we go through the layout of both of these and how they influence the game.

Unit Stat Card

The Unit Stat Card, pictured in Asajj Ventress’ version here, consists of two sides. on the side with the vertical layout (to the left), the following information is shown:

  • Name and Unit Type (bottom) – this shows what the character is called, and what role it plays. This section also displays its Unique Name (the name at the very bottom) of which no two can be taken in a game, meaning that you can’t for example, include two different versions of Ahsoka Tano with different unit types in a squad.
  • Squad Points/Points Cost and Era symbol (top left) – for a Primary Unit, this shows how many points of “followers” you can take in your squad, and for Secondary/Supporting Units, it shows how much of the Primary Unit’s Squad Points they take up. So far, the two eras available in the game are Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War.
  • Force (top right) – This shows how much Force your Unit contributes to your Force Pool, which is the amount of points you have for performing powerful abilities in the game.

The horizontal layout (to the right) shows the following information:

  • Name (top) to help you keep track of who’s who even when this side of the card is up.
  • Abilities (left) – these are the things your Unit can do apart from moving, attacking and controlling objectives. Some abilities have a Force points cost next to their name, shown by a number of Force symbols, some don’t. The game has the following ability types (and Marvel Crisis Protocol players will feel right at home here):
    • Active abilities have to be selected for use in the Unit’s activation – sometimes the ability states that it takes up one of your two actions, sometines it doesn’t.
    • Reactive abilities can be used when a specific trigger occurs, such as an opponent attacking you.
    • Innate abilities are abilities whose effects are always in play, such as a reduction to incoming damage.
    • Tactic abilities are Innate abilities that always happen at the start of the Unit’s activation, and which also affect other units. For example, Captain Rex has an ability that lets another Galactic Republic character move when he activates.
    • Identity abilities only occur on Primary Units and happen on a triggering condition just like Reactive abilities, such as the Sith Assassin ability on Ventress pictured above

The horizontal side of the Stat Card also shows your Stamina (top of the bottom left pair of symbols) which shows how much damage the unit can take before being Wounded, and Durability (below Stamina) which shows how many times the unit can be Injured before it’s defeated.

Finally, the stat card show any Tags the Unit might have, which are keywords at the bottom of the card which rules in the game can interact with, like Galactic Republic in the Captain Rex ability mentioned above.

Stance Card

A Unit can have different Stance Cards depending on which fighting style they wish to use, such as Ventress’ Form II Makashi Stance and Jar’Kai Stance pictured above, but the layout is the same across all of them. A Stance Card shows how the Unit fights and defends itself, and to understand them properly, you need to know how dice work in Star Wars: Shatterpoint:

Attack dice (top row above) have 4 different symbols on them, from left to right: Critical, Attack Expertise, Strike, and Failure. Defense dice (bottom row above) have 3 different symbols, from left to right: Block, Defense Expertise and Failure. The Stance Card almost exclusively uses these dice symbols and other icons to explain its rules rather than plain text.

A Stance Card consists of the following sections, apart from the unit name at the bottom:

  • Ranged Stats and Melee Stats to the right: These show the amount of dice you can roll in attack and defense with and against either Ranged or Melee weapons.
  • Combat Tree to the top left: This is one of the more unique elements of Shatterpoint rules. If, when attacking, you end up with one or more succesful rolls after all modifiers have been applied, you can use each of these successes to advance along the branching Combat Tree to apply effects. For example, Ventress in her Jar’Kai stance can choose between her first success causing two damage (the explosion symbols) or causing one damage and applying the Strained condition, which damages the target if it tries to move. The more successes you roll, the further up the Tree you advance, adding more and more effects.
  • Attack and Defense Expertise Charts in the bottom left and center: These charts show what happens if you roll one or more Expertise symbols in your attack or defense rolls, and they use the dice symbols plus a few other symbols. For example, rolling 1 Defense Expertise in Jar’Kai stance with Ventress gives you a Block symbol and allows you to change one of the opponent’s Critical successes into a regular Strike (the yellow symbol with an arrow towards the Strike symbol). The more Expertise symbols you roll, the greater the effect.

The Stance cards add tons of complexity and finesse to combat in Star Wars: Shatterpoint, and it’s completely understandable if players feel overwhelmed at first – this author sure did – but since they use a universal set of symbols, as soon as you crack the code, they’re really easy to read.

There’s a lot to keep track of on the two types of Unit Cards, and it definitely won’t be a system that appeals to everyone. However, if you like having very few units in a skirmish game, but tons of rules for the few you have, this system will definitely be something you’ll want to try out.

Missions in Star Wars: Shatterpoint

In addition to selecting your Strike Team before a game, you also bring a Mission Set, which consists of a Mission Card and the Struggle Cards that come with it (they’re all marked with little symbols that show which set they belong to).

The Mission Card (to the left) shows you how to set up the objectives on the battlefield and how the mission generally works, and then the game starts out with a Phase One Struggle Card active (to the right), which shows which objectives you have to control in that Phase, marked in yellow. Then, players score points by controlling objectives from the Struggle card and completing missions objectives, until one player has scored enough points to move the Struggle Counter all the way to their side on the Struggle Tracker pictured here:

Once a Struggle has been completed in this way, a new Struggle Card is revealed, and so on, until one player has won two struggles, which means that player has won the game. Lots of elements of the game can influence the Struggle Tracker, such as Wounding an enemy character, which subtracts 1 step from your side of the Struggle Tracker so you won’t have to score as many points to win a Struggle.

Turn Sequence

Before a game begins, the players roll of to see who goes first, and then they take turns making activations with their units. Each unit has an Order card, which each player shuffles into an Order Deck along a Shatterpoint card, and when it’s their turn to activate, they draw an Order card to see which Unit they get to activate. If they draw the Shatterpoint card, they can pick whichever Unit they want to activate. If they draw a Unit they don’t want to activate right away, once per turn they can pay 1 Force point to set them aside, draw a new card and then just pick the card they set aside later. When they run out of cards to draw, they Refresh their deck by shuffling all the cards back into it.

Each activation lets a unit perform two actions, such as moving or attacking (we’ll go into much further detail with this once we get our hands on the starter set). If you score any points for the Struggle Tracker, you score those at the end of the activation. Note that the game doesn’t have rounds per se, but players just keep refreshing their Order Decks until the game is over.

Attacking and taking damage

We’ve explained much of how attacking works in the Unit rules section, but we haven’t looked at how exactly it plays out in the game itself. When you attack, you declare if you’re using your Melee or Ranged profile (if you have one), and then you select a target that’s within range. Then, you check your Stance Card to see how many dice you can roll, and so does the opponent, and you roll your respective dice pools. After modifying your dice results from the effects of Expertise and Abilities, you check if any successes remain in the attack roll after resolving the defense roll, and then apply damage first, and other effects from the Combat Tree second.

When you take damage, you add a damage token to your Stat Card, and when you reach a number of tokens equal to your Stamina stat, you become Wounded. For every Wounded token your Unit has, you have to spend 1 additional Force Point to use an Active or Reactive ability, and when it becomes your next activation, you turn the Wounded token into an Injured token and remove all damage. Your Durability stat determines how many times you can go through this process before being defeated.

…And so much more!

There is, of course, so much more to the rules in Star Wars: Shatterpoint. We haven’t even made a deep dive into its movement or scenery rules in this article, but we’ll hold off doing that until we’ve really tried it out for ourselves. As mentioned earlier, we’ll upgrade this article into a full comprehensive guide in June.

Upcoming Releases for Star Wars Shatterpoint

Listed below are the confirmed releases for the game so far. Some of them already have release dates, and some of them are just reveals from Atomic Mass Games’ seminar at Adepticon 2023, but we’ll update this list as often as we can.

Star Wars Shatterpoint Core Set

This set contains everything you need to play the game, including lots of scenery and 16 miniatures that include characters such as:

  • Ahsoka Tano
  • Anakin Skywalker
  • Asajj Ventress
  • Darth Maul
  • Bo-Katan Kryze
  • Gar Saxon

Release Date: June 2, 2023

This Party’s Over Squad Pack

This Clone Wars Squad Pack contains Mace Windu, Commander Ponds and a Supporting Unit of 2 ARF Troopers.

Release Date: August 4, 2023

Witches of Dathomir Squad Pack

This Clone Wars Squad Pack contains Mother Talzin, Savage Opress and a Supporting unit of Nightsister Acolytes.

Release Date: August 4, 2023

You Cannot Run Duel Pack

This Duel Pack diorama contains Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi and a fully sculpted backdrop from the Obi-Wan tv series.

Release Date: July 7, 2023

Hello There Squad Pack

This Clone Wars Squad Pack contains General Kenobi, Clone Commander Cody and a Supporting Unit of 2 212th Clone Troopers.

Release Date: June 2, 2023

Twice the Pride Squad Pack

This Clone Wars Squad Pack contains Count Dooku, Jango Fett and a Supporting Unit of 2 Magnaguards.

Release Date: June 2, 2023

Appetite for Destruction Squad Pack

This Clone Wars Squad Pack contains General Grievous, Kraken and a Supporting unit of 4 B2 Battle Droids.

Release Date: July 7, 2023

Plans and Preparation Squad Pack

This Clone Wars Squad Pack contains Luminara Unduli, Barriss Offee and a Supporting Unit of 2 Clone Commandos.

Release Date: July 7, 2023

Jedi Hunters Squad Pack

This Squad Pack contains the Grand Inquisitor, Reva, Fifth Brother and Fourth Sister.

Release Date: July 7, 2023

High Ground Terrain Pack

This terrain pack consists all the scenery you need to play a game of Star Wars: Shatterpoint.

Release Date: June 2, 2023

Take Cover Terrain Pack

This terrain pack contains additional low scenery for your Shatterpoint games.

Release Date: June 2, 2023

Measuring Tools Pack

This pack contains all the measuring tools you need to play the game (not just the ones pictured above).

Release Date: June 2, 2023

Dice Pack

This pack contains a full set of attack and defence dice for the game.

Release Date: June 2, 2023.

Releases revealed but not fully announced

These are the images revealed at Adepticon 2023: Padme! Darth Vader! Ewoks! The Mandalorian! And more… We’ll move each squad to the list above as soon as they’re officially announced.